Amniotic Fluid | Color, Levels & Test | How To Increase?
What Is Amniotic Fluid?
Amniotic fluid is a yellow colored liquid which serves as a cushion for the growing fetus and also facilitates the exchange of water, nutrients and biochemical products between mother and fetus.
Now, what is amniotic fluid and why is it important?
- It is important for fetus development. While a baby is in the womb it is within the amniotic sac, so when a baby grows inside it, it is surrounded by the amniotic fluid as it helps to protect the baby from external forces and injuries. But the main highlight here is that if the fluid is too much (polyhydramnios) or too little (Oligohydramnios) in amount then it can cause complications.
In the very beginning, the fluid is comprised of water that is produced by mother but later on, around 20 weeks of gestation, the fluid gets replaced by the fetal urine.
The fluid contains nutrients, hormones, and antibodies that are helpful for baby in fighting with infections.
Amniotic Fluid Color
It is usually yellow in color but when it is green or brown in color, it indicates that the baby has passed meconium (first bowel movement).
If meconium is present in the fluid, it can be problematic for the baby as it can cause breathing problem.
In some cases, babies will require treatment (after the birth) for this as it goes in the lungs of the baby.
Amniotic fluid color indicates the chances of meconium present in the fluid.
Amniotic Fluid Leakage
The fluid leak will feel like a gush of warm fluid from the vagina. It feels like a slow trickle from the vagina. It is usually odorless and clear but sometimes it is mixed with mucus or blood also.
If the liquid is amniotic fluid then most probably it will not stop leaking.
Amniotic Fluid Levels
Amniotic Fluid Index or levels is the score which is expressed in cm here. It is the given amount of the fluid with which the results of the ultrasound is compared.
- The fluid Index ranging from 8 to 18 cm is considered normal. It is 14 from 20th to the 35th week.
- The fluid Index ranging from 5 to 6 is considered low or Oligohydramnios.
- The fluid Index ranging from 24 to 25 is considered too much or polyhydramnios.
Amniotic Fluid Test
The amniotic fluid test is also known as amniocentesis. It is a prenatal test in which the small amount of fluid is removed from the amniotic sac (with which baby is surrounded) for testing.
Sample (a small amount of fluid) is removed from the sac by inserting a fine needle into the uterus through the abdomen.
The fluid is then sent to a laboratory for testing and analysis. The amniocentesis test is performed in order to check any types of birth defects such as down syndrome etc.
It is usually offered to those women who have an abnormal ultrasound or who have a risk for genetic diseases or have a pregnancy of the previous child with a birth defect.
How To Increase Amniotic Fluid
Following are some tips to increase the fluid:
- Drink a lot of water as it is the easiest way to increase amniotic fluid index. Keep yourself hydrated.
- Have foods which have a high content of water. Vegetables like cucumber, lettuce, radish, spinach and cauliflower help in increasing the water content in the body. Also fruits such as strawberries, watermelons, tomatoes, grapefruit etc. help in increasing the water content in the body.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol because it is not good for a child’s health. It also dehydrates the body and lowers the amount of amniotic fluid in the body.
- Avoid the consumption of herbal supplements because it makes you pee more and more which will dehydrate the body and will lower down the amount of amniotic fluid.
- Perform light workout regularly which does not include heavyweight. Regular workout helps in increasing the blood flow to various parts of the body and also helps in increasing the level of amniotic fluid.
Low Amniotic Fluid At 38 Weeks
Baby regularly swallows the fluid and passes it out in the form of urine, which ultimately makes a fall in the amount amniotic fluid. It rises and falls on the regular basis.
From 38 weeks onwards, amniotic fluid slowly and gradually begins to reduce until the birth is given. Having low fluid is a problem as it affects one out of 25 pregnant women, and one out of every 8 pregnant women who go beyond 41 weeks of pregnancy.
A measurement of less than 2cm or 0.8 inches is considered to be low. It can be caused because there might be some problems with the placenta or certain kinds of medication you may be taking.
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